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Old 10-10-2006, 05:26 PM   #1
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Avocado Questions

I bought a couple of Haas avocados over the weekend as I wanted to experiment a little and try something new - avocados are fairly new to me.

I selected them carefully so they would be ready in a couple of days. Today they were a nice dark color and firm to the touch but just a little soft when pressed with a fingertip. I cut one open for lunch to find the interior had scattered black or brown streaks and spots throughout. Cutting open the second one, I found the same. First question - a two parter - Are these marks a sign of rot or spoilage and how can you tell from the outside if they are there (basic selection criteria)?

Second question: I searched several sites for avocado recipes, including here and a couple of avocado sites and my usual haunts. I found a lot of recipes where the avocado in the recipe was either sliced on top of the finished product or in some kind of guacamole variation added on for presentation. What I was looking for was recipes where avocados were an ingredient that was cooked as part of a recipe. Does that exist?

I would appreciate any help from the avocado experts in the group.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:28 PM   #2
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They are not usually cooked. Used raw as a garnish. The specks are not great but doesn't make the avocado inedible. Better that they don't have them but it isn't anything you have done.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Funny you should bring up a question about avocados. My market had a special on them the other day 2 for $1. I was in the mood for guacamole, so I bought a pair. We had the guacamole with chips last night at cocktail time. It was great if I do say so myself. It was a recipe I just threw together.

I will tell you that, if you plan to use the avocado as a sliced garnish, etc., you should dip in lemon juice first. Avocados will discolor when hit with a good dose of oxygen.

I use diced avocado in tossed salads, as well in seafood salads. I like it very simply served by cutting it in half, removing the pit and topped with a little salt and sour cream.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:37 PM   #4
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Andy,

I have had the same problem with Hass avacados here for a while now. They are hit or miss -- nice and blemish free or with lots of brown stuff inside.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:46 PM   #5
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The supermarket was promoting them and I have seen a lot of ads on TV lately for Avos from Chile.

So, do you eat or toss the ones with the crud inside?

Daisy, those recipes look really interesting. I'll save them to try next time.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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Daisy, that avocado cake recipe looks very interesting!! Will have to try that, thank you!!

Andy, I will eat an avocado with some of the brown marks if they aren’t predominate. One thing I do with avocado slices/chuncks is use them to top some soups; adds that extra flavor to tomato or any spicy soup.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:48 PM   #7
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The sp[ots and streaks are not wanted it also gets stringy when its like that.I think something happens to them in the shipping I like to get them when they are still quite firm and let them ripen at room temp a few days or in a paper bag.When it is ripe it should be a nice green with no blemishes.Try it peeled with just a bit of salt and pepper.HEAVEN!Its great on sandwiches etc.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:58 PM   #8
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I salvaged enough out of the ones I cut to put slices on a ham and cheese sandwich I had for lunch. It was a very good addition.

I really enjoy guacamole but want to expand my avocado horizons.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:52 PM   #9
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Avocadoes grow all over the place here.We have so many varieties, and it seems no-one has ever classified them. Well; perhaps that's a project for retirement!!
If the fruit have black spots, that means they were probably picked (very) unripe and allowed to mature, but they probably never made it. I buy avocadoes in the local Farmer's market under the following criteria ( local folklore - not mine!):

1) Ripe
The avocado skin is bright greenish-yellow, but will give easily if you press a finger onto it.
2) Ready tomorrow
The avocado skin is still more green than yellow, but you can just about feel it "give".
3) Ready in two (maybe three?) days
The fruit is green. Maybe a yellowish patch or two - firm to the touch, but not hard as a rock. Place in a brown bag and leave in a dark place ( NOT your safe deposit box...) for about 48 hours.

You could try making a " Ajiaco" - the most famous soup from Bogotá. Very, very basically it's a chicken and potato soup, topped with capers, avocado and a very particular colombian herb ( NO ! not that one!). It's also very tasty.

You could make a very light tomato sauce for pasta.Add some double cream,a little dill, then stir in a few slivers of smoked salmon. Just before serving, add some diced avocado.

To be absolutely honest, my favourite avocado recipe is:
half an avocado, sea salt, filled with extra-virgin olive oil, a bunch of shrimp, a little onion, lime juice, black pepper and a finely chopped fresh chile pepper ( Cayenne would hit the spot)

However, there's a friend of mine here somewhere who swears by Tempura Avocado - I think that sounds as decadently delicious as is possible!!
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:31 PM   #10
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clive, the avocados in question are Haas. They have a dark pebbly skin that is almost black when ripe.

Thanks to all of you for your expertise and suggestions.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:54 PM   #11
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Andy,
avocado in a tomato tortilla soup, or a shredded roasted pork and tomatillo burrito, a tomato, mozzarella,avocado salad, bruschetta topped with roma tomatoes,diced red onion, avocado and evoo, or sweet and sour avocado salad with it's warm dressing.

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Old 10-10-2006, 11:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadesma
Andy,
avocado in a tomato tortilla soup, or a shredded roasted pork and tomatillo burrito, a tomato, mozzarella,avocado salad, bruschetta topped with roma tomatoes,diced red onion, avocado and evoo, or sweet and sour avocado salad with it's warm dressing.

kadesma
Great! Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:15 AM   #13
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I think your avacados may have been left to ripen for too long. Next time, dont wait, until they are soft. Just until they cave very slightly, when u give them a squeeze.
I think it is when they get very ripe, that they start to grow those dark fibers,inside.

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Old 10-11-2006, 03:20 AM   #14
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Yes, cooked avacado receipes exist.

I sometimes make avacado and youghurt soup.
I also put them in creamy or tomato pasta sauces.
I have seen a recipe, where they were baked, with a filling, but i have not tried that one.

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Old 10-11-2006, 07:14 AM   #15
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I believe Clive is describing the "Florida" avocado--smooth skinned, green (have never really seen any yellow). The Hass avocado is the one I am seeing almost totally now--small and rough skinned. Green when not ripe going toward black when ripe. The Hass has much more flavor than the larger green smooth skinned ones. And I now very rarely see the others.
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
However, there's a friend of mine here somewhere who swears by Tempura Avocado - I think that sounds as decadently delicious as is possible!!
I have had this at a Sushi bar and it is wonderful!!! Each time we would order a salmon tower, he would garnish it with something different, when he did the tempura avacado slices... I told him to do that all the time!
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:03 AM   #17
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I like mine mashed up with potatoe and chili peppers, sounds disgusting but it`s as closed to cooked as I go with them and it`s great comfort food, over-ripe is never and issue either when done this way :)
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:34 AM   #18
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Andy M., I have seen avocados in egg skillets and omelets, too. I sometimes slice mine with tomoatoes and fresh mozzarella drizzled with evoo and some basil - a little variation. Sometimes I will dice them in throw them in a salsa-like topping for chicken, too.
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:39 PM   #19
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Few observations:

- avocados are unusual in that they are one of few fruits that ripen only after being picked off the tree. Instead of their sweetness developing as they ripen, their fat content is what develops - that is, they increase fat content as they ripen.

- when ripe, avocados easily bruise. the best advice is to purchase them while still very firm and allow to ripen undisturbed at room temp (NEVER refrigerated) and to speed up the process, you can place in a paper bag.

- I personally enjoy avocados with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of lemon/lime. I also think they pair excellently with shrimp, crab and lobster. You can make a "creamy" salad dressing with no mayo or cream by purreing in some avocado into a vinaigrette - olive oil, lemon/vinegar, salt and pepper and herbs of choice along with avocado. (you may have heard of this as "Green Goddess"). A "pico de gallo" with added avocados sounds great as well, yet if too ripe, it will be hard for it to keep its shape.

- Although I have never heated avocados in any preparations, Howard Hillman's book "The New Kitchen Science" states:

"When heated, avocados undergo a chemical reaction that produces unwanted, bitter-tasting compounds which is why you seldom see hot avocado dishes on a menu or canned avocado products on supermarket shelves."
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:59 PM   #20
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Andy - the most sublime avocado I've ever had is the tempura.

You will need some lime juice to prevent browning while you work.

As many avocados as you want.
Tempura batter (homemade or from a package)
a tube of Wasabi paste or two depending . . . . .
oil for deep frying

Cut the avocados into chunks and sprinkle them with lime juice if you are going to be cutting a lot of them. Squirt wasabi paste on the avocado - to your taste (but don't skimp). Using 2 forks dip the avacado chunks carefully into the tempura batter and then into the hot oil. Cook until pale golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve.
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